Ibrutinib (Molecule of the Month for May 2017)
Ibrutinib is used to treat cancers like mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and Waldenström's macroglobulinemia, a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ibrutinib is a drug that binds permanently to a protein, Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), that is important in B cells.
Ibrutinib has been reported to reduce chronic lymphocytic leukemia cell chemotaxis towards the chemokines CXCL12 and CXCL13, and inhibit cellular adhesion following stimulation at the B cell receptor (BCR). Additionally, ibrutinib down-modulates the expression of CD20 (target of rituximab/ofatumumab) by targeting the CXCR4/SDF1 axis. Together, these data are consistent with a mechanistic model whereby ibrutinib blocks BCR signaling, which drives cells into apoptosis and/or disrupts cell migration and adherence to protective tumour microenvironments.
According to the Wall Street Journal in January 2016 ibrutinib, a specialty drug, cost US$116,600 to $155,400 a year wholesale in the United States. In spite of discounts and medical insurance, the prohibitive price causes some patients to not fill their prescriptions.
Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for May 2017 )
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